In continuing my research into the original airmen assigned to the John Oliver Buslee crew and James Joseph Brodie crew of the 384th Bomb Group, and of the airmen who were aboard these two pilots’ respective fortresses in the mid-air collision of September 28, 1944, I searched through morning reports, special orders, individual sortie records, and personnel records on the 384th Bomb Group’s website. I was looking for any other information about them outside of their bombing missions.
I discovered several entries in those documents regarding the men who were either original members of the Buslee and Brodie crews or were substitutes on missions when the original members did not participate. Today I present the information for the Brodie crew in timeline format. Last week I presented the timeline for the John Oliver Buslee crew.
Note that this information should not be considered complete due to sometimes illegible, incomplete, and missing records, but what I have found is included here. I have also included the Brodie crew’s bombing missions in the timeline.
Timeline of information from Morning Reports, Special Orders, Individual Sortie Records, and 384th Bomb Group website Personnel Records for James Joseph Brodie original crew members and mission substitutes:
25 JULY 1944
Donald William Dooley was assigned to the 384th Bombardment Group Headquarters Detachment, per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #147 dated 25 July 1944 as a radar mechanic/bombardment.
26 JULY 1944
The James Joseph Brodie crew was assigned to the 545th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #148 dated 26 July 1944. Crew members were:
- William D. Barnes, Jr., Bombardier
- James Joseph Brodie, Pilot
- Robert Doyle Crumpton, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
- George Marshall Hawkins, Jr., Navigator
- Gordon Eugene Hetu, Ball Turret Gunner
- Harry Allen Liniger, Waist Gunner
- Wilfred Frank Miller, Tail Gunner
- Leonard Opie, Waist Gunner
- William Edson Taylor, Radio Operator
- Lloyd Oliver Vevle, Co-pilot
2 AUGUST 1944
The following enlisted men were promoted to Sergeant per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #155:
- Gordon Hetu
- Harry Liniger
- Wilfred Miller
- Leonard Opie
4 AUGUST 1944
Mission 171 to Peenemünde, Germany. Target was a CROSSBOW (V-Weapons) Rocket Research & Development Complex.
5 AUGUST 1944
Mission 173 to Langenhagen, Germany. Target was the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), a Luftwaffe Controlling Station.
Byron Leverne “Bud” Atkins was assigned to the 545th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #157 dated 5 August 1944 as Waist Gunner of the James Woodrow Chadwick crew.
7 AUGUST 1944
Mission 174 to Dugny (Paris), France. Target was the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), an Aircraft Fuel Depot.
8 AUGUST 1944
Mission 175 to Bretteville-sur-Laize, France. Target was Military and Tactical, Enemy Strong Points.
9 AUGUST 1944
Mission 176 to Erding, Germany. Target was the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), the Erding Airdrome & Airfield.
11 AUGUST 1944
Mission 177 to Brest, France. Target was Military and Tactical, Coastal Artillery Emplacements.
14 AUGUST 1944
William Taylor was promoted to Staff Sergeant per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #163.
16 AUGUST 1944
Mission 181 to Delitzsch, Germany. Target was the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), the Delitzsch Air Field and Air Equipment Depot.
17 AUGUST 1944
Byron Atkins was promoted to Sergeant per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #165.
24 AUGUST 1944
Mission 183 to Merseburg, Germany. Target was the Oil Industry, a Synthetic Oil & Chemical Plant.
26 AUGUST 1944
Mission 185 to Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Target was the Oil Industry, the Buer Synthetic Oil Plant.
30 AUGUST 1944
Mission 186 to Crepieul, France. Target was a CROSSBOW (V-Weapons) NOBALL (V-1 Launch Site).
5 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 188 to Ludwigshafen, Germany. Target was Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.
8 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 189 to Ludwigshafen, Germany. Target was Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.
Tech Sergeant Donald Dooley was reclassified from MOS 867 (radar mechanic/bombardment) to MOS 757 (radio operator/gunner) and transferred from Headquarters Detachment 384th BG to 545th BS on SO #179, AAF Station 106, SPO 557, dated 8 September 1944.
Leonard Opie was transferred in grade to the Casual Pool, 8th AFRD, AAF Station 594.
9 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 190 to Ludwigshafen, Germany. Target was Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.
James Brodie was appointed 1st LT AUS 9 September 1944.
10 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 191 to Sindelfingen, Germany. Target was Industry, the BMW Motor Component Parts Plant.
11 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 192 to Lützkendorf & Merseburg, Germany. Target was the Oil Industry, an Oil Refinery.
13 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 194 to Merseburg, Germany. Target was the Oil Industry, the Leuna Synthetic Oil Refinery.
The 13 SEPTEMBER mission was William Barnes’s last with the Brodie crew. Between 13 September 1944 and 17 October 1944, Barnes retrained as a Navigator. After the 13 SEPTEMBER 1944 mission, the Brodie crew was assigned a Togglier to missions instead of a Bombardier.
19 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 196 to Hamm, Germany. Target was Transportation, the Railroad Marshalling Yards.
21 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 197 to Mainz, Germany. Target was Transportation, the Railroad Marshalling Yards.
25 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 198 to Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Target was Transportation, the Railroad Marshalling Yards.
26 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 199 to Osnabrück, Germany. Target was Industry, Steelworks.
28 SEPTEMBER 1944
Mission 201 to Magdeburg, Germany. Target was Industry, Steelworks.
The following airmen flying with the James Joseph Brodie crew on the 28 September 1944 mission went from duty to MIA (Missing in Action):
- Byron L. “Bud” Atkins
- James Joseph Brodie
- Robert Doyle Crumpton
- Donald William Dooley
- George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.
- Gordon Eugene Hetu
- Harry Allen Liniger
- Wilfred Frank Miller
- Lloyd Oliver Vevle
Subsequently, all were declared KIA (Killed in Action) except for George Marshall Hawkins, Jr., Harry Allen Liniger, and Wilfred Frank Miller who were declared POW (Prisoner of War).
5 OCTOBER 1944
William Taylor went from duty to MIA (Missing in Action) over Cologne, Germany. Subsequently, he was declared POW (Prisoner of War).
7 OCTOBER 1944
William Barnes went from duty to sick quarters (LD).
11 OCTOBER 1944
William Barnes went from sick quarters (LD) to duty.
4 JANUARY 1945
William Barnes was relieved from assignment and transferred to the Casual Pool 70th Replacement Depot Station 594 30 DECEMBER 1944 per 5 SO 365 HQ 1st BD departed 0800 hours 4 JANUARY 1945 (Completed tour).
Thank you to the 384th’s Fred Preller and Keith Ellefson for obtaining and sharing WWII reports from the National Archives for the 384th Bomb Group.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021